June 1 (UPI) -- The European Commission said it was backing an effort to take the global lead in environmental and climate action with a call for increased financing.
"The European Union is a global leader for environmental protection and climate action," European Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella said in a statement. "Where we spend our money should reflect this."
The so-called LIFE program covers a broad-range of issues, from biodiversity to climate change mitigation. Funding is targeted at $2.2 billion between 2021-27. The commission proposed an increase of nearly 60 percent for the program.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has invested more than $4.5 billion directly on renewable energy, backing the development of 6.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in more than 20 countries. Since its inception in 1992, for its part, the LIFE program has contributed $7 billion toward more than 4,500 projects.
Vella said the proposal to increase funding would strengthen European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's vision of a "low-carbon and climate-resilient economy."
Funding proposed for the LIFE program would focus on investments in energy efficient and clean energy, biodiversity and commitments under the Paris climate agreement.
On the whole, the European Commission is considering ways to reform its financial system to align more closely with EU climate efforts and the Paris climate deal. Among the measures on the agenda is a call to establish a common classification system to determine what constitutes sustainable finance and where it can make the most impact.
In an apparent swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, Junker said that, as the United States leaves the Paris climate accord, it would be Europe that will "make our planet great again."